Compensation can come in two forms in personal injury accidents: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easy to calculate. Bills, pay stubs, and quotes can be added up to come to a total to ask for.
But non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify. How much should you ask for pain and suffering from a car accident? The answer is largely out of your hands, which is why a car accident lawyer from Buzbee Law Firm can help argue your case for these damages.
Ways to Calculate Non-Economic Damages
There are two ways insurance companies use to estimate non-economic damages. The first is a multiplier rule. After calculating all the economic damages, those are multiplied by some amount to pay for all non-economic damages.
So, if your accident was worth $10,000 in compensation, and the insurance company assigns a multiplier of two, you’d get $20,000 in non-economic damages for a total of $30,000. The multiplier usually ranges from 1 to 5 depending on the severity and the length of recovery time needed for your injuries.
The second way is to do a per diem calculation. An estimation is made of how much your pain and suffering is worth per day, and then you get paid that amount each day until your situation improves to where you’re no longer in pain and suffering or cannot improve further.
Hiring a Lawyer Is Crucial
In both cases, pain and suffering isn’t a thing you ask for with a specific amount. It’s an estimation. The insurance company will have its own view of how much your pain and suffering is worth. It’s up to your car accident lawyer to argue otherwise.
Using previous cases and evidence, your lawyer can persuade the insurance company to pay you the most for pain and suffering. Before the trial, the goal is to come to a fair amount so that trial is unnecessary. Going to trial is expensive for both sides.
If the case goes to trial, by that point, your lawyer will have a target number they want to get for you and will work to persuade the judge and jury to award that amount. The final decision of how much you’ll get for pain and suffering damages will rest with them.
Evidence for Pain and Suffering
Like with economic damages, pain and suffering damages aren’t just given because you ask for them. They have to be supported by evidence. A doctor’s analysis of your injuries is one way, but another way is to create a pain journal.
This is a record you create of how you’re feeling each day and how your post-accident life has changed. By creating one, your lawyer can use your statements to argue that you deserve more money for pain and suffering.
A personal injury lawyer from Buzbee Law Firm can give you instructions on what to include and how to structure your entries. Remember that anything you write in the journal could be used in your trial or during negotiations. Detailed, accurate, truthful, and complete descriptions are best.
Evidence Against Pain and Suffering
The insurance company wants to pay you as little as they can. To preserve your chances of a high payout for pain and suffering, see your doctor as soon as possible after your accident and follow all their medical advice.
Car accident injuries may not show up immediately, but delaying treatment gives the insurance company room to argue your injuries are not as severe as you claim. If they were, you’d go see the doctor sooner. Seeing one as soon as possible cuts off that claim.
Going against your doctor’s advice can also jeopardize your pain and suffering claim. If you have to rest or restrict your activities, you need to do it. If you don’t and the insurance company catches you, they’ll say you must be recovered and don’t need to pay you as much.
Maximize Your Pain and Suffering Settlement
If you have been the victim of a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, you can pursue non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Leave how much you should ask to your lawyer. Their experience and negotiating skills will maximize the amount you can get.
The lawyers at The Buzbee Law Firm handle pain and suffering negotiations all the time for clients. We’ve helped people recover over $10 billion dollars in compensation, including pain and suffering settlements. See what our team can do for you. Call us for a free consultation about your car accident.